Mar 172010
 

After long hours of tweaking, I’m happy to announce that the new website is ready for your viewing pleasure. Please visit http://fluiddruid.net for continued shapeshifty goodness!

If you subscribe to this blog via RSS, the new feed address is http://feeds.feedburner.com/fluiddruid (or click the large orange button on the new website!) Please update your feedreaders, as I will not be posting to the old feed from now on.

New Features:

  • Forums! This is the part I’m most excited about. Blogs are great for one-way conversations, but they tend to be lacking for in-depth discussion. I hope to build a good-sized community of fellow WoW players here who are interested in developing their skills. (Of course, if you just want to post lolcats, that’s totally cool too.) Please let me know what you think, either via comments or on the forum. I’m still working on the forum themes…it took me 3 hours tonight to figure out why my theme wasn’t displaying any buttons. Finally realized that the board language was set to American English (enUS) but the theme images were set up for British English (en). Bah.
  • Wowhead tooltips! All those kitty gear guides that I posted previously? Now Powered by Wowhead (TM).
  • Kickin’ styles! Well, sort of. This will be my first site, so I’ve taught myself bits of CSS, PHP, and phpBB over the past few days. I now know enough to be overconfident. :)

About the Ads:

You will quickly notice a small Google Adsense box on the new website, so I’ll address that now. This is up here primarily to appease my significant other, who wants to know why I waste so much time on some silly blog. :) I get a lot of traffic from search engines from people who come here for one of my guides and disappear–this is who I am targeting these ads at. Most of my regular visitors have some sort of adblock tool installed anyway, from what I understand, so hopefully this is not an issue. The forums and RSS feed will remain ad-free. (Unless someone offers me like three figures. Yeah, I’m cheap.)

To Come:

Now that the site coding/design work is at a lull (for now), I’ve got several topics that I hope to knock out posts on soon.

  • Cat Gearing Guide, Part 4 (ICC-25): Let’s get to the good stuff.
  • Kitty Trinket Analysis: Should I use the Deathbringer’s Needle-Encrusted War Token, or the Whispering Verdict of Victory? We’ll figure it out!
  • PanzerKitty: What to Do When the Boss Likes You
  • Advanced Feline Concepts: A few tips on how to eke out extra bits of DPS on each encounter.
  • Auto John F’ing Madden: How to use Ovale to maximize your DPS
  • Why Hunters Must Die for Stealing our Weapons…err, okay, that’s enough for one day.

I’ll be adding many more sites to the blogroll…please post if I’d already talked to you, as I’ve got a lot going on right now. Enjoy the new site!

 Posted by at 11:00 pm  Tagged with:
Jan 042010
 

Just poking around some random combat logs on the Internet at work (no WWS/WMO/WOL, so I’m trolling guild websites and such) and found this gem. Mr. Rogue’s ability rotation consists of: Sinister Strike to 5 cps; refresh Slice and Dice  if down or less than 10s left; otherwise Eviscerate. Use Adrenaline Rush, Blade Flurry, and Killing Spree on cooldown. The muti rogue’s not much better: Mutilate to 5 cps, Rupture, muti to 5 cps, Envenom, repeat, use long-CD skills when up.

Done. 8k DPS for both Rogues, top of the charts. (Yes, small sample size is small.)

I understand they’re a pure DPS class…but I look at the optimal Feral rotation in comparison and cry on the inside a little bit. Blizz: I love you guys, really I do, but if your mechanics cause a formerly core part of a DPS rotation to be dropped completely (Rupture for Combat, Arcane Missiles, probably some others I can’t think of), then you probably need a few more hotfixes.

Also, I may roll a Rogue alt. :)

Nov 272009
 

Guess what? I am a World Top 25 feral druid, as ranked by World of Logs…

See here for proof.

As such, there’s going to be a change in attitude around here. Now that I’m leet and all, I will require full acknowledgement of my epic status before providing help to anyone…and much bowing and scraping will be required.

(Aren’t small sample sizes fun?) :)

Nov 082009
 

I am absolutely stunned and devastated by the recent shootings at Fort Hood. (For those that don’t know, I am currently a U.S. Army officer serving in Korea.) One of the soldiers killed was SSG Justin Decrow, who was very briefly one of my soldiers (I was reassigned to a different unit shortly after his assignment to Korea). I won’t use this blog as a political forum, and I urge commenters not to do so either. However, I’d like to suggest Soldiers’ Angels as an eminently worthwhile charity, if you are so included. I’m particularly proud of their Valour-IT program, which purchases voice-controlled laptops for disabled soldiers.

May God remember the fallen.

 Posted by at 2:16 pm  Tagged with:
Oct 092009
 

So, I woke up this morning, saw that the T10 set bonuses had been released (including a VERY puzzling Resto bonus), and hit my usual blogs expecting some informed discussion.

Guess what? Apparently, nobody cares about the bonuses, and what they mean for upcoming fights, etc., etc., they’d rather complain about how hideous the T10 Resto Druid helm looks. Confession time: I have honestly no idea what most of my armor pieces look like…I’ve had my helm turned off ever since I got the gimp mask (better known as the Titan-Forged Leather Helm from WG). Anyway, now that we know what really motivates our beloved resto druid bloggers, let’s take a look at the druid set bonii.

Bear 2P Bonus – Your Swipe (Bear) and Lacerate abilities deal 20% additional damage.

This is a decent bonus. The extra damage on Swipe is nice for AOE tanking, obviously, and since every tank class got an AOE ability buffed with the 2p, I’d imagine that we’ll have a good bit of that in Icecrown. (Not to mention that our AOE range on Swipe was increased.) Lacerate only accounts for about 10% of our damage, so it’s not as good a bonus as it is for, say, the prot warriors, who got their 20% buff on Shockwave and Shield Slam.

Bear 4P Bonus – Your Enrage ability no longer decreases your armor and instead decreases all damage taken by 12%.

This is a VERY nice bonus. (of course, all the tanks got something like this for their 4p). 12% mitigation every 10s works out to an extra 2% mitigation overall; of course, with something like this, you may very well end up chaining it with Barkskin for a 32% mitigation effect every minute. Can’t wait to see the boss that these cooldowns were built for.

Cat 2P Bonus – The cost of your Rip ability is reduced by 10 energy.

This is pretty bad. Let’s do some quick mental math. With the Glyphs of Rip and Shred, a Rip lasts 22 seconds (12s + 4s for Rip glyph + 3*2s for Shred glyph) Assuming you can keep 100% Rip uptime, the set bonus saves you 10 energy every 22s, or roughly 27 energy per minute. That’s about half of one Shred…so you get an extra Shred every minute and a half or so. That puts it around 80 extra dps, assuming an average Shred hits for 7k damage.
However, you’re not going to be able to keep a 100% Rip uptime. It’ll certainly be boss dependent, but I’d probably cut calculated dps values for the set bonus by a third to a half for single-target fights, depending on movement/phases/etc. Add fights are a more interesting case, though, since you’ll be able to Rip a second earlier then usual. For comparison’s sake, I’d say the 2pT9 bonus is worth double this.

Cat 4P Bonus – The periodic damage done by your Rake ability can now be a critical strike.

This sounds great! The theorycrafters are going to have to give the final word on this one, but our crit rates are going to be through the roof, so a 6-7% DPS increase seems about right. We’ll have to see what the stats look like on the Tier gear to know whether this signals the death of ArPen stacking…the crit from agi now benefits an additional ability, but the agi cap’s getting mighty close, as I predicted in my ArPen FAQ.

Restoration 2P Bonus – The healing granted by your Wild Growth spell reduces 0% less over time.

As I mentioned in the comments to my previous post, this is pretty good, but not game-changing. If I remember my WG numbers right, it hits for about 800 to start, then 760, 720, etc., ending at 560. 4760 total per target. If they remove the cost reduction, that’ll jump to 800*7=5600. That’s a very nice increase, about 17%. Unfortunately, due to the mechanics of the spell, the last few ticks (which gain the most from the set bonus) usually get overhealed. Lisanna thinks (and I agree) that the 0% is a placeholder, and that they’ll eventually settle on a partial cost reduction, but not total. 50% sounds about right to me.

Restoration 4P Bonus – Each time your Rejuvenation spell heals a target, it has a 2% chance to jump to a new target at full duration.

Wow. Ok, let’s break this down. There’s several big unknowns here:
1. Does it “jump” (ala PoM) or copy? If it “jumps,” (i.e. Rejuv falls off current target, starts fresh on second target) then I’d call the set bonus harmful, not beneficial. I can’t believe Blizz would do that, so let’s call it a copy (i.e. every Rejuv tick has a 2% chance to create a Rejuv on another player)
2. How is the target picked? Smart targeting makes this more useful; random targeting, not so much. Will it jump to a target that already has Rejuv? If so, will it just refresh the HOT or add a full duration of time? Does it have a range limitation? I’ll assume random targeting/refreshing/all players in range.
3. Is the new HOT affected by Nature’s Splendor (does it get the 3 extra seconds?). Is it Swiftmendable? Let’s say yes/yes.

Basically, it boils down to this. In 3.2, you could roll Rejuv on 15 targets (while keeping WG on CD.) Now, you can keep it up on 12. Each Rejuv has a 10% total to proc another Rejuv, so we’ll end up with slightly over 13 targets having it, if the heal is smart. If not, we’re looking at 12.5, since half those Rejuvs will be wasted on people who already have it. Someone explain to me how this is a good set bonus, as currently written?

Balance 2P Bonus – When you gain Clearcasting from your Omen of Clarity talent, you deal 15% additional Nature and Arcane damage for 6 seconds.

I’m not as familiar with Moonkin as I am with other specs, so I can’t do any math on this, but it sounds fairly weak. OOC generally procs about 2x/min or so for moonkin, so you’re looking at 12 seconds of buff time per minute, for a theoretical 3% damage bonus. Unfortunately, you’re going to lose some of that due to spells not perfectly matching the buff duration. I also have no idea how it stacks with Eclipse or other stuff, which would make it better.

Balance 4P Bonus – Your critical strikes from Starfire and Wrath cause the target languish for an additional 5% of your spell’s damage over 4 seconds.

That’s it? A 5% damage boost, but only on crits, and only on SF and Wrath, drops it to like 2% (assuming the DOT’s don’t overwrite, which would REALLY suck). That’s horrible (considering the Feral DPS 4p)

Oct 062009
 

Work, ugh. Quick roundup of good druid posts from other sites since I don’t have the time to do my own:

Bears: Kalon at Thinktank has updated his gear guide to include Ony and PVP gears. Basically: Top-tier PVP gear (Relentless) is close to BIS, just behind 25-man heroic gear. PVP gear = more survivability; PVE gear = more threat. An invaluable resource as always.

Cats: Not much new here; so I’ll take the opportunity to tout FeralByNight again. FBN is a DPS rotation tool that continually analyzes several factors (your buffs and their time remaining, # of CP’s, energy, boss HP, positioning) to give you the “best-choice” solution for maximum DPS. It’s not perfect, and you won’t get your max DPS until you learn when to go against its reccomendations, but it’s perfect for learning feral priorities.

Moonkin: Graylo and others have talked about WiseEclipse, the addon that can increase your dps considerably by maximizing your Eclipse uptimes. Read Graylo’s post at Gray Matter for more details.

Trees: Some discussion about the nerf to Rejuvenation in 3.3 at Restokin. Blizzard seems to be gently but firmly pushing us into the “support healer” role by nerfing our ability to heal burst raid damage. I might expand this into a full post later, if I get a chance.

Bear guide to continue soon(TM).

Sep 182009
 

BBB has started a trend, with his excellent bear tank creed.

Alt Fanatic continued it, with his tree creed.

Here’s my humble contribution.

 

The Panther Creed.

I am a panther of death. Fear me.

I am a skilled and experienced fighter, trained to defeat my enemy.

If I fight alone, I am weak. If the enemy fights alone, he is weak. With my pack, I am strong. I can overcome all challenges with the support of my pack.

I shall provide my companions with the blessings of the jungle, to enhance their skills in the ways of war.

I shall not rely on my companions to provide enhancing sustenance; I shall provide my own, as I am self-reliant.

I shall follow my commander’s orders, even if they leave me no personal glory. There is no glory in defeat.

I shall always attack my enemy from behind, as the deadliest attack is the one unseen.

I shall let those with plate armor or bear posterior absorb the enemy’s blows. I will NEVER draw the enemy’s attention, as I fly far and crumple well when kicked.

I shall intimidate the enemy with my roars, so that my attacks strike deep.

I shall endeavor to keep the enemy bleeding and crippled, watching as his life slowly drains away.

I shall illuminate the enemy with faeries’ fire, so that my companions’ accuracy will be aided.

I shall glyph for Savage Roar, Rip, and Shred, so that my voice be stronger, and my opponent’s bleeding be torrential.

I shall remain aware of the conditions of my pack, so that I may restore a companion’s life or energy at a moment’s notice.

I shall remain aware of the battlefield. I will ALWAYS get out of the fire, as singed fur smells awful, and greatly displeases our clergy.

If our enemy defeats us, I will examine my equipment and tactics, to seek to improve my contribution to the pack. If we defeat our enemy, I will praise my companions for their efforts. I shall not revel in personal glory.

Above all, I am a Guardian of Cenarius, and a protector of the peoples of the Alliance. As I protect them, so does Elune protect me.

I AM…a panther of death. Fear me.

Sep 182009
 

I just had one of those playing nights that reminded me how OP druids are much fun I have now having a druid main. (BTW, There’s an excellent post on Altosis about how the continued accumulation of achievements, mounts, pets, etc. has made mains “more mainy,” and some good discussion about hybrid classes vs. pure classes. Check it out.) 

  • 8:30 PM: Joined my casual guild’s Ulduar 25 raid, as a tree. (I haven’t been raiding much recently, since I’ve been spending more time with my family, so it was nice to be back.) Guild had been working on him for two weeks, mostly struggling with construct tanking, from the overheard vent chatter. I log in, sub in for a DPS, and we one-shot him. (Yeah, it was all me! Really!) :)  2nd or 3rd HPS for the fight, if I remember correctly, a nice belt replacement for my healing set, and I finally got the Siege 25 achievement done. Went on to Iron Council…almost one-shot, but had a bad death rune/lightning whirl combo on Runemaster. Tried a couple more times, but Steelbreaker kept one-shotting our tank with rune-powered punches, so we called it for the night.
  • 10:30 PM: Switched to my Bearcat spec, pulled top DPS during a H Oculus run (daily), and did the 4 Ruby + healer strat on Eregos to get the Emerald/Amber Void achievements. Incredibly easy.
  • 11:15 PM: Win the easiest Wintergrasp ever…wow. On defense, I usually go resto and heal the zerg, but there was no zerg. Horde only had 1 workshop for probably 90% of the battle. Cool moment: About 6-8 horde successfully reached the wall, killed a couple of our guys and started clearing turrets. I ran back into the keep, spec-changed/gearswitched to Feral (Outfitter/DualSpec addons, how I love you for two-click changes. BTW, Does anyone else feel that they need a phone booth or something when they change gearsets?), stealthed out to the group, and solo-killed the 2 demos that were rolling in before getting zerged. “Kitty’s in ur rear, shredding ur demos!”
  • 11:30 PM: Join a PUG VoA 10…I offer to tank or heal, but incredibly, we have enough of each, so I stay dps. One of the tanks bites it on Koralon at about 20%, so I blow my last CP”s and shift to bear, eating the Meteor Fists with SI+Barkskin. Sure, I died pretty quickly as the healers weren’t prepared…but I got the tank through that Meteor Fists, giving the rest of the raid enough time to finish him. AND…got my first piece of T9! It’s not much of an upgrade, though, going from T8.25 legs to T9.10, though, so now I’ve got to rethink my EOT gear strategy. I had planned to buy the Duskstalker shoulders next (since I’m still using the T7.25 in that slot, with 4pT8), but I may buy the T9 gloves first for the 2pT9 set bonus, since I’m using T8.10 in that slot. Hmm.
Sep 042009
 

Yay, I’m back to a regular schedule, so look for more posting in the future (Actually, I was back to regular schedule starting this week, but we got a long weekend, so spent some time with the family).

I’m going to try to, you know, actually design the blog, and figure out this whole tag/category thing, so expect some changes. (Though, if you’re like me, you follow the blog in a feedreader, and completely miss the style stuff.)